Radiographer - Job Profile, Duties & Responsibilities
use X-ray, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, computerised tomography (CT),
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine and angiography,
to produce images of organs and other body parts.
is a Diagnostic Radiographer?
Radiographers assist in the diagnosis of injuries and
diseases, and contribute towards establishing treatment plans.
They are also involved in intervention procedures, such as
the removal of kidney stones.
perform X-ray examinations on patients in a variety of
clinical settings. These examinations can vary from a simple
hand X-ray to an examination of the kidneys after contrast
media is injected. Radiographers work in outpatient clinical
settings, perform complex procedures in surgery, and work
in hospitals performing examinations on patients of all ages.
Diagnostic radiographers employ a range of sophisticated
equipment to produce high quality images to diagnose an
injury or disease.
use a range of techniques including:
X-rays– to look through tissue to examine bones,
cavities and foreign objects;
Ultrasound – uses high frequency sound and
is increasingly used due to its versatility in obstetrics,
including fetal monitoring throughout pregnancy, gynaecology,
abdominal, paediatrics, cardiac, vascular and musculo-skeletal;
Fluoroscopy – to image the digestive system providing
a live motion x-ray;
CT (computed tomography) – which provides cross-sectional
views (slices) of the body;
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – builds a 2-D or
3-D map of different tissue types within the body;
Nuclear medicine – this uses radioactive tracers
which can be administered to examine how the body and organs
function, for example the kidneys or heart. Certain radioisotopes
can also be administered to treat particular cancers eg thyroid
Angiography – to investigate
Bone mineral densitometry - to assess the mineral
content in the bones to detect the fragility of bones
The Diagnostic Radiographer
is required to use clinical reasoning skills in making decisions
regarding the nature and extent of individual procedures. They are
trained to recognize the normal and abnormal appearances of anatomy
and pathology in order to initiate supplementary techniques to assist
the health practitioner reach a definitive diagnosis and provide
when requested an informed opinion to the referring health practitioner
regarding the results of procedures, which assists the health practitioner
in arriving at a correct diagnosis. The diagnostic radiographer
is responsible for the comfort and well-being of patients whilst
they are in their care.
Courses in Diagnostic Radiography, India
In India diploma,
degree and postgraduate courses are there in this field. Also
students can under go specialization in a particular diagnostic
Opportunities in Radiography, India There
is currently a strong demand for diagnostic radiographers, both
in the public and private sector. Graduates have the opportunity
to accept positions in capital cities, rural and remote locations
have the opportunity to work in a variety of medical imaging
clinical environments, some of which are general in nature and provide
a broad spectrum of imaging modalities and patient presentations.
Other clinical environments can be specialized such as in children's
hospitals, geriatric, spinal injury and the defense forces. Diagnostic
radiographers also have the opportunity to specialize in an imaging
modality such as ultrasound, CT, MRI, etc. Diagnostic radiographers
provide a service for most departments of a hospital, including
accident and emergency, outpatients clinics, operating theatres,
intensive care units, and general wards.
Career mobility for radiographers is excellent. With further
education or experience, opportunities exist for advancement in
education, management and additional imaging modalities. Recruitment
agencies are also able to place newly qualified and experienced
diagnostic radiographers into employment.
Jayakumar. A Lecturer, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences,
Directorate of Distance Education, Sikkim Manipal University, Manipal-576104